tv [untitled] November 10, 2010 4:30am-5:00am PST
>> we're about to embark on our last panel of the afternoon entitled strategies and current state of knowledge but it's also i believe, going to provide just some different perspectives and some different ideas which is always extremely helpful, and that's why we're here today to get those exchange of ideas and debates going and to moderate our panel today is jeff. jeff is the general manager for
the metropolitan water district of southern california as we refer to it's a, the met. it's the states largest provider of drinking water and cooperative of 16 cities and 18 million people in 6 counties. prior to his appointment is general manager, just a pointed. he was general council to the water district and prior to that, he represented metropolitan issues including colorado river issues and a number of issues regarding water storage programs. jeff, it's our honor here in san francisco to have you here with us and i'm sure everybody here is honored with your presence. so i appreciate you'll do double duty, that's not only
moderating today, but tomorrow with our action plan. with that, jeff, take it away. >> thank you very much, susan. it's a pleasure to be here and we like to think of ourselves as metropolitan and people in san francisco we like to say they see us, as the good guys. just a few minutes before i introduce the panels a couple of things i thought i would touch on briefly from this mornings presentation, and that's utility reaction verses global warming and we're fairly pragmatic, we look upon them as challenges and things we have to man for and not apart san issue. we looked at climate
changes in 1990 at met when we looked through the previous drought and we had board workshops on the implications for the future. we repeatd the exercise a decade later and had panel come and talk to boards and a number of experts came and we adopted a number of policies on how to start planning for global warming. it was pragmatic and the policies were adopted unanimously. i or my agency runs the gamut in terms of political areas. very liberal areas like santa monica to quite conservative to parts of orange county and several areas throughout our entire service area.
it was never partisan but what we need to do as an issue. i find it interesting this is interesting but in utilities issues, it's more how are you prepared. we tend to get our water - we're lucky because we have a diversified water supply. four major sources in southern california and because their from distinct thigh droe logical areas we tend to not have them dry at the same time it's one of our primary areas or defenses, we get colorado okay okay, north california, and local in our south california region that supplies almost half the water we use and then through one of our member agencies city of los
angeles the east si' ras and this year is it's becoming depress ingly clear and 07' is shaping up that all of them are well below normal. every single area. hoping that it's not a trend and a depressing state for me as my first years general manager. , brad will talk first hand he's on the faculty of university of colorado the director of university water assessment and was one of the great names in western law and politics. our next speaker doctor dan will repeat that entire lunchtime presentation except he'll talk really fast and do it in ten minutes.
our third speaker barry nelson, codirector of national resources defense council and working on an interesting project water law and policy, and that's settlement and potential rest to raks of the san jaoquin river. thank you very much. brad? [applause] >> good afternoon, dan i'm from nebraska actually. actually, i'm not but colorado is close enough and will have to do in my point. those of us from other parts of the country are looking very carefully to what your doing here and we're learning a lot
of great lessons and we hope the sea level rising is a lesson we don't have to learn but you all, are doing fascinating work. i road in last night with joel smith and he said with a wink and nunl, never turn down a trip to san francisco or new orleans. we have one still left. all right. i'm going to talk about a shared resource in the west and my first thing here is all important dividing line on the upper and lower basin colorado line. this photograph was taken lo 1880's and you will see the lower right, the founder. john lee is actually my grant grant grand father. you might think it's remarkable
to be a descendant of the guy, but he had 21 lives and by my count about 2500 descendants right about now. let's go to the next. you probably all know the overview of the river. those that never heard of the colorado river let me give you facts. 7 states and two nations share it. the fastest growing part of the nation by percentage or numbers. including utah, arizona, and nevada and cafornia just on sheer numbers. 8 percent of the land area in the united states and it has 60 million acre feet of storage and that's closest to the highest in the world relative to it's annual flow of 15 million acre flow a year. it's about five to 25 million
acre feet. there are 35 million people served in an enormously complicated legal environment. what happens after 7 years of drought on the river. these are two parts that have 50 million of the river in storage and we started out with full reservoirs and you end up with these enormous drops and we're at about 50 percent of the average. underaverage lake immediate will never refill given demands on the system and lake paul will take decades. it estimated ten acre feet per year and that's a serious history record, there's nothing like it. how much is variability and how much is greenhouse gas, no one
can say. i think you would be silly to think it's solely natural variability. these two photographs or four actually, lake,meed, looks like that and the other lake, powell. >> this is courtesy of doctor read mond, you should. he's doing wonderful work on the climate. what we have here is a temperature slide from the lower basin starting about 1890 to current and it looks much like the slide of worldwide temperature. the annual data is red and the blue is $1,130,569 running mean and this two
degree fahrenheit increase. the upper basin numbers are comparatively about 1 point 5 degrees and in the little inset here you can see, what's happening nationally during that period. you know las vegas wins the record for many many things and they win nationally for the highest temperature increase during that same period of time. another slide from doctor redmond, he swapped the colors to red is the $1,130,569 year running mean. what you see is very little trend over this one hundred year period. it's interesting to look that low period numbers here at the end and the lots of variability you see here in recent years. in 2002, and 04 and 06, the
basin lost enormous amounts of snow pak in the spring. this one shares the continental divide with can colorado river. so this is indicative of what happens in spring of 06. the dark bars are what it was on april 01 and this is may one a month later. most of these lost 50 percent of their snow on one month period. many my favorite is went from 176 to normal and 0 percent in one month. this is a spring time warming trend that's quite son certain. this is provided by the national resource office in new
port land. the trees are containing the manager's and it's been my pleasure to work with connie and she a long with dave and a few others reconstructed this going back five years and we're looking at a 20 year average dating to about 1500. what's interesting is the tree ring is 13 point 5 acre point feet and historical is 18 point 1. with this no one cares about individual years and what's more important is the run, the sequences of drought and this is where the trees
river but if you look at the study recently out of university of washington, one has to have a pessimistic outlook on what future flows look like in the colorado river. my colleague marty produced one as well. that show as 50 percent reduction by 2030. i'm not sure i believe that but if you think the river is going to get more water, you might be living in, la la, land. two problems. one in lower basin and one in higher basin. if you look that bottom line the net balance is a minus one point 4 million acre feet per year. that's going in there on average and that's not doing to change in lake, powell, and the
out flows are 14 million acre feed with that in that system , it doesn't take long to see you will have a problem with average hydraulics. in my state there's this great terror that something called, a compact call will occur. basically it means section 3d, will be violated and it will fail to deliver this feed in ten years. when your denver water or other utilities that are in case 70 dependent in some cases on water, a notion of a contact call strikes terror in the heart of water manager's. there's that issue and theres the upper issue of, how much
water is left to develop. some things or think there is plenty jpand some folks think there's. 0. hydro logic left overs. this is the only other water resource and need less to say the folks in colorado are particularly perplexed by this. there are two new projects that are four and five billion mixed and ten billion to take it from the green river and pump it into the range. will it fly? i don't know. it depends. there's also one other item out there to keep in mind, the environmental statements that recreation is pursuing. the, eis, is out there to do two things. one be to figure out and end
the fighting on coordinating operations and how to deal with shortages in the area is the second. or sow in the deserves mention here. this is on a fast track and it's amazing interrum took that ten years because they're going to do the shortage of two. these rules will be in place through 2025. i think it's getting the picture here. their moving away from their reliance on historical hydraulics and have a chapter and very interested by or behind the scenes with respect to the river. i need to say that this basin structure will change the way the river works and congratulate the people that put this together because it will change how the system
operates. a couple of concluding thoughts for you. both population and climate change are puting a major stress on this basin and i think you will see shortages in the lower basin. you talk to arizona and they are nervous about this and proposeed a de say innization and they would take water in exchange from another plant and that was a reasonable proposal. that has no ability of the storm. their 3 hundred thousand acre feet and up against that and they don't know what to do and pat,mroy is not someone to hangle with. when arizona said they had this 3 million to spend on fees she
said i'll call your 3 million and raise you 3 million. this is the future growth of that part of the basin and terror behind this compact call notion, i have not mentioned the environmental issues out there that hang on this. dangerous species on all aspects of the river and the delta as well. there are two wild cards. what happens with fires in the upper basin especially with the beetle kill in colorado. the international forest says we will lose 90 percent of the dominant tree species and if you have not been to grand lake or any of those places you will be shocked at what you see. it's clearly a change. i know all the messages today are apposing and i look at this
sort of like mountain climbing as a former and pretend mountain climber, thankfully when you climb mountains the levels of steps are right when you begin and that's what we all get to deal with. i take t comfort from the writer that said we were not really lost, merely where we shouldn't have been without knowing exactly where that was. thank you. [applause] >> i'm not going to repeat it all. but you can't take the climate
out of the climatologist eventhough this is a strategy session. let me - i think i missed part of the discussion in previous panel and i think, there was something that i frag mentally caught about water. i wanted to point out in california, the amount of water that's used in conveying and other forms of pump inging, imagining the water system is about 18 percent of the total electrical use in the state. so, the different - that means the different parts of the climate problem are connected. it's not just the water problems over here and the
energy problem is over here and their somehow insulated. they are not. so, next one. um... this is a slide that, you know, if i really tortured you i would have shown a few minutesing a but this is a picture of the,g fel, model under a medium high emissions scenario. the change of the temperature at the end of the century, verses the model, historical climate, and you can see the scale. i'm looking that map here. scale is at the bottom and what you see by this is the coastal air temperature raised, by the end of the century, about 2, 2 and a half degrees celsius.
but when you get to the interior of north america, this is for summer, the temperature rise is in excess of five celsius and colorado does not look very good, naturally in those terms. so, what this suggests - and more than one model shows the same kind of behavior and i'll show you : tha. but this is a transit of southern california showing you the temperature rise across this area, and you see this tremendous gradient of temperature increase as you get in land. of course, that has a profound
influence - or would have on all sorts of things including probably water, eco systems, forest fires, human health, all sorts of issues. this is a facet of the latest generations of climate models that really was not recognized five years back or so and whether or not this is going to be um... - this is going to be verified and confirmed by future model runs that's a question, but it looks like land properties, because of the drying that brad mentioned feeding back to the summertime atmosphere, and perhaps causing a potential worse problem to deal within the warm season.
next one. this is four different model runs showing you the amount of change in the annual cycle. the one i just showed you a, well the reddish, more dramatic with the bars but truth in advertising, even a less responsive model does show some of this. it's not necessarily to the degree as the other one that was done but this is kind of to make a point. next one. the other thing to mention here, is the infinite of the extremely warm base and that is called, heat base. norm miller has done a lot of work on this kind of behavior and he published a paper
recently remarking about some of these same scenarios and ot days over this terrain but the message here is, the number of heatwaves gets greater. they begin earlier and last longer both in seasonal context and their synoptic event scale. that's a two day heatwave may all the sudden be a five day heatwave. of course you probably know, just human nature knows if we get more than two days of heatwave we'll run the air conditioner a bit longer and finally give in as far as requiring more cooling, so in
california, of course, we have a summertime heat and electrical demand and you can expect that peak power load will creep up because of this. this has the enormous ecosystem implications for this environmental justice issue mentioned earlier, because a lot of people can't afford air-conditioning and ones that can, are going to suffer more or can't will suffer more. evidently there's a geographic issue here. people that can afford to live along the coastline are more insulated